FUNCTIONS OF LIPIDS
Lipids perform several important functions:
1. They are the concentrated fuel reserve of the body
2. Lipids are the constituents of cell membrane structure and regulate the membrane permeability.
3. They are essential for the digestion, absorption and utilization of fat soluble vitamins like Vitamin A, D, E and K.
4. Lipids are important as cellular metabolic regulators (Steroid hormones and prostaglandin).
5. Lipids protect the internal organs serving as insulating materials.
6. As compounds of the mitochondria membranes, lipids (phospholipids) participate in electron transport chain.
7. Fat imparts palatability to the diet and slows stomach
a. emptying time, thus giving a feeling of fullness. This delay of onset of hunger is called ' satiety value' of fats.
8. The calories in fat spare the proteins from being oxidized for energy.
9. Fat deposited in the adipose tissue serve as reserve source of energy during starvation. It acts as an insulator conserving the body heat.
Essential fatty acids which are derived lipids, perform important functions in our body.
Functions of essential fatty acids:
1. Maintenance of the function and integrity of cellular and subcellular membrane.
2. Regulation of cholesterol metabolism by transporting it between the blood and body tissues.
3. Acts as precursor of hormone like - prostaglandin which aid in regulating vascular function and help relieving pain and inflammation.
4. Delays blood clotting time.